Self-Improvement

Enlightenment For Bitches: How To Achieve Inner Peace While Keeping Your Attitude

Sometimes you don’t want to be enlightened. Sometimes, you want to enjoy the simple pleasure of hating your ex, or cursing the person who cut you off, or finally admitting that you don’t care to see photos of your coworker’s fat cat.

If you follow a spiritual path, these bitchy impulses are going to make you feel horrible. Nothing quite messes up your meditation streak like having the urge to slap someone.

I get it—everything was all “namaste” until shit hit the fan. You hadn’t even stepped out of the house before spilling blistering hot coffee on your favourite flannel.

Usually, you’d forgive everyone and everything; you’d quickly send thoughts of loving-kindness  out into the ether. But not this time. This time, you just want to scream. You want to be a bitch.

What if you can have both—what if you can be a bitch, but also be enlightened? I think this is what the Buddha meant by following “the middle path”.

Here’s some guidance on how to be a spiritual bitch. Namaste.

Respect the full range of your emotions.

Being spiritual isn’t about repressing all of your less-than-spiritual thoughts and feelings. You can simply recognize your judgements and impulses, without identifying with them. The only reason we try to stop feeling negative emotions, is when we believe they are part of the essence of who we are. So, basically, you can have bitchy thoughts without actually being a bitch. It’s all about what you choose to identify with, and act upon—you’re not your thoughts of hatred any more than you are your thoughts about what to eat for lunch.

As the First Noble Truth of Buddhism goes: all existence is suffering. So we will always have plenty to bitch about.  Recognize that life sucks, people suck, and everything is going to make you suffer. The first step as a spiritual bitch, is to allow your bitchy reactions to surface. And to not judge them or yourself.

And remember: it’s your duty to fight for yourself. Your anger instinct is valuable—it lets you know when your boundaries have been crossed. If you don’t protect yourself, who will? If you don’t stand up for yourself, who will? True enlightenment is assertive; there is nothing passive about it. There’s no need to be a pushover to be spiritual.

Let go of the need for everyone to like you, or to think you are a “nice girl”.

As the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism goes: the cause of suffering is attachment.

You are disturbed by your desire to lash out at the world because you are attached to being a “nice girl”. Naturally, there is going to be an impulse to want to keep the peace, to not stir up trouble—to not risk being perceived as a bitch. But your first duty, especially in Buddhism, is to direct compassion towards yourself.

“As we are the ultimate cause of our difficulties, we are also the solution. We cannot change the things that happen to us, but we can change our responses.” – The Buddhist Centre

So, fellow bitches, keep your attitude. It’s there to protect you from all the gibberish and nonsense in the world. Invite negative emotions in; don’t repress them. You’re not anything less than a spiritual badass just because you still can’t forgive your slimy, cheating ex, or because you wish your coworker would get fired so you’d never have to see photos of their cat again.

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